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October 01, 1985 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-10-01

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4

OPINION

Page 4 Tuesday, October 1,1985

The Michigan Daily

4

Eita 3n dbsan aitfi
Edited and managed by students cot The University of Michigan

Detente: A new beginning?

Vol. XCVI, No. 19

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

A better way

I N ONE OF the starkest
repudiations yet of the
Sullivan Principles and even of
apartheid itself, 91 South African
business leaders took out full page
advertisements in several
newspapers calling upon the
government of Prime Minister
Pieter Botha to end its system of
legalized racism.
The businessmen, some
representing South African firms
and others the South African sub-
sidiaries of international cor-
porations such as General Motors
and Mobil Oil, have spoken out
against apartheid in the past, but
never so directly and publicly.
For several years, many of them
have upheld the Sullivan Prin-
ciples which declare that there will
be no discrimination within the
workplace on the basis of race.
Those Principles have no effect
outside the workplace, however.
More recently, a group of the
businessmen met in Zambia with
leaders of the outlawed African
National Congress. Botha's gover-
nment has thus far frowned upon
any negotiations with the A.N.C.
and continues to imprison its
acknowledged leader, Nelson
Mandela.
Specifically the businessmen
called for an end to the current
"state of emergency" status which
empowers South African
policemen to arrest and detain
"suspects" without trial; freedom

for Mandela and negotiations with
the A.N.C.; and full citizenship
rights to all races.
It will be some time before the
advertisements' impact is ap-
parent, but they are certain to put
even greater pressure on Botha's
government to bring about refor-
ms. With domestic violence on the
increase and foreign pressure
mounting, the government has ap-
peared to be on the brink of major
concessions several times, but in
each instance has introduced only
mild reforms.
In recent months the gover-
nment moved to permit interracial
marriages, and has publicly con-
sidered doing away with the "pass
laws" which prohibit blacks from
entering white zones without the
proper credentials. Nevertheless,
the government has yet to touch on
the substantial issues of citizenship
and suffrage.
Unless the government moves
soon toward substantial reform,
South Africa is destined for a
prolonged racial bloodbath.
The advertisements' headline
articulates the slim hope that
timely reform holds; it reads "There
is a better way."
The more pressure brought to
bear on the South African gover-
nment - be it from businessmen,
public universities, or the United
States government - the more
likely that "better way" will
materialize.

By Jonathan Corn
and Walter White
"Look Mr. President, we have brought you
sunshine," said Soviet Foreign Minister
Eduard A. Shevardnadze to President
Reagan following their meeting in the Oval
Office last week.
Shevardnadze wasn't just referring to the
clearing of hurricane Gloria from
Washington's skies, he was talking about a
promising new Soviet offer to reduce by one-
half. both U.S. and Soviet offensive nuclear
arms. This turnaround was a bold step that is
beginning to characterize Mikhail Gor-
bachev's brand of Soviet foreign policy.
Now, if the U.S. could match this recon-
ciliation, the two countries could be shaking
hands with a new detente. However, there
seems to be controversy over how effective a
new detente could actually be. History has
shown that Nixon's detente (detente I) only
led to the eventual worsening of U.S.-Soviet
relations. So why should a detente II accom-
plish anything that a detente I failed to do?
Soviet-American relations since World War
II have been, to say the least, antagonistic.
The period from 1945 to 1969 was certainly a
"Cold War." It was an era of tension, charac-
terized by intense superpower competition,
frequent confrontation and the virtual absen-
ce of cooperative activities.
Political Science Professor Alexander
Yanov terms the Cold War period "an era of
peace on the brink of war."~
The causes of the Cold War are complex..
However, two frequently top the list. First is
the immense contrast between the Soviet
ideology and that of the capitalist world.
Second this contrast brings with it an
inherent collision of interests. Whatever the
reasons, both nations suffered as a result of
Corn and White are seniors in LSA.
They are regular contributors to the
opinion page.

these relations.
By the late 1960s, both the United States and
the Soviet Union felt the time was ripe to
lessen tensions. Both sides saw an oppor-
tunity to make positive gains. Moreover, both
sides saw an opportunity, or even a
necessity, to limit strategic arms. Thus, the
United States, under Leonid Brezhnev bred
an era of detente.
Detente, which is the French word for
relaxations, seemed at first to mark a new op-
timism. It had potential to limit the arms race
and increase mutual trade. The first real
progress was reflected in the 1972 SALT I
agreements, which some say in-
stitutionalized detente.
IA

whereby new friends solemnly swore to end
the contest."
The contest wasn't over. Soviet-American
relations deteriorated right through the
seventies, and into the eighties. And although
detente wasn't completely dead, the era came
to be re-termed Cold Peace. It was marked by
continued suspicions, a heightened mistrust
and an escalated arms race.
Now, 15 years after detente was first in-
troduced to the international political arena,
the only things that have changed are the
names of the leaders. There is still an immense
difference between the two countries
ideologies and there are still many collisions
of interest. However, many times political
change comes as a result of personality. And
in this department both countries are not
lacking.
Moreover, this 15 year period has brought
about the prospect of an unending arms race
which will even expand to outer space. For-
tunately, both sides see the immense danger
involved with this and are now apparently
willing to bring about an end to this awesome
nuclear buildup.
Thus, what is needed is a new era to be for-
mulated by the leaders of both nations. An era
that will be warmer, longer lasting and more
sincere than that of dentente I. President
Reagan said last week, "What we are
engaged in is a long-term peace process to
solve problems which are solvable, bridge
differences where they can be bridged, and
recognize those areas where there are no
realistic solutions and where they are
lacking, managing our differences in a way
that protects Western freedoms and preser-
ves the peace."
The sun came out over the White House last
week as hurricane Gloria made her way up
the coast. Not only did the weather clear, but
so did a new mood between the Soviet Union
and the United States. Hopefully, this
clearing will continue and eventually bring
about a new era of detente.
What's more, it will be interesting to see the!
weather forecast for Geneva in November.

1.4

Despite SALT I, detente was flawed from
the beginning. Each side was too quick to see
the benefits, but not the costs. For
Washington, dentente was thought to be a
replacement for containment. But the post'-
1972 communist conversions of several Third
World countries altered the U.S. mood.
On the other hand, Moscow viewed detente
as a formal recognition of its superpower
status. It hoped that this acceptance of parity
would promote trade, especially where high-
technology items and grain was concerned.
However, a cool reaction from Washington
and U.S. activities in the middle east lessened
their enthusiasm for detente. As one analyst
said, "Detente became the art -of trade-offs
between competitors, not an arrangement

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U NIVERSITY President
Harold Shapiro's press
release issued following the Sep-
tember 20 Board of Regents
resolution encouraging "scholars
who wish to participate in Strategic
Defense Initiative research"
seems an unfortunate attempt to
whitewash the intensely controver-
sial issues of academic freedom
and moral restraint.
Shapiro's statement that "(the
University's)...long established
and continuing position is that such
decisions (undertaking specific
research projects) are within the
province of individual faculty
members so long as institutional
policies are observed" offers little
in the way of clarifying an ad-
ministrative, student body, or
faculty concensus regarding SDI
research on campus.
This week's issue of the Univer-
sity Record features a brief
dialogue with Shapiro designed to
"clarify(ing) the University's
position on this issue." "Univer-
sity," here, rather narrowly
defined to mean the Regents.
Perhaps most disturbing is
Shapiro's inattention to the intense
and highly organized opposition to

SDI work coming from various
faculty and student groups on
campus - individuals affiliated
with the University he represents -
as he makes a public statement on
behalf of the University.
When the Regents neglected to
consult with students or faculty
prior to passing their resolution,
they were denying the academic
community's voice; for Shapiro to
"reaffirm" the Regental statement
only compounds the violation.
At present, over 30 faculty mem-
bers have signed petitions being
circulated in opposition to SDI
research on campus, and student
opposition has been evidenced in
protests, editorial statements and
most impressively with the
organization of a national forum of
Campuses Against Weapons in
Space to be held here next
weekend.
Shapiro says he hopes
"discussion and evaluation by
faculty and students who oppose
the controversial military research
will impact the community," but
his commitment to honoring such
input is questionable when already
he has silenced the opposition by
publicly "reaffirming" the regen-
tal resolution.

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LETTERS
Regent's c
To the Daily:
At the September 20th Regents
meeting, a situation arose which
promptedaNeil Neilsen to make a
few very revealing remarks, as
far as those of us who have been
questioning the reasoning behind
a code are concerned.
A number of students concer-
ned over a previous day's regen-
tal proposal to encourage S.D.I.
research had waited for hours to
discuss the proposal. To the
dismay of these students, the
proposal was quickly passed with
no discussion. In response,
several students interrupted the
meeting and voiced their disap-
proval of the unorthodox process.
At this point, Regent Neilsen ad-
dressed President Shapiro, urging
him to pass a code of

omments hint at Clde motive

4

munity." Just why does the ad-
ministration want a code?
It is evident that the question
which students have repeatedly
asked, namely why do we need a
code, is one which the ad-
ministration has difficulty an-
swering. Neilsen's remarks seem
to validate the argument many
students have brought against
the code. The argument is that
the administration is chiefly con-
cerned with controlling student
dissent. Concern for campus
safety may thus be a secondary
reason for the code at best, but
one which the administration
uses in order to garner some kind
of student support.

In sum, Regent Neilsen's
comments could not be ignored or
taken too lightly. If the ad-
ministration is truly dedicated to
working with the students on a
code, perhaps a starting point
would be anthonest and consistent
answer to the question

"Why Code?"

-Ed Kraus
September 25

Kraus is chairman of the
Michigan Student Assembly's
Student Rights Committee.

Letters to the Daily should by typed, triple-
spaced, and signed by the individual authors.
Names will be withheld only in unusual circum-
stances. Letters may be edited for clarity, gram-
mar, and spelling.

We encourage our readers to use this
space to discuss and respond to issues of
their concern. Whether those topics

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